Online School… From Japan

By Hanna Yamato

With the ubiquity of the coronavirus pandemic and rising cases, the vast majority of American public schools have shifted to online learning, or remote learning for the rest of 2020. Through utilizing our laptops and the online platform of Zoom for attending our classes and completing assignments, this new system has become quite flexible and versatile. You can attend class from anywhere you wish, whether that is from the coziness of your own bed, the tranquility of the outdoors, or even from a different country.

My family and I recently took an 11 hour flight to Tokyo, Japan. Upon arrival, with the international travel guidelines outlined by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Japanese government, we were required to get tested and then self-quarantine for two weeks. As a current senior applying to colleges, I cannot miss any deadlines for schoolwork or college applications, so here are some of my tips for surviving online learning whilst traveling to a different country, or even a different state!

  1. Keep in contact with all of your teachers. Let them know beforehand where and when you are going, along with the time difference. That way, your teachers can notify you if you’re excused from certain classes. For example, the time difference between California and Tokyo is 17 hours! It would be quite impossible for me to attend class everyday at 3 am in the morning! 
  2. Check Canvas and change your settings to correspond with your local time zone. In order to keep up with your schoolwork so you don’t miss any deadlines, it is absolutely crucial that you change your time settings to match with where you currently are. This simple step will prevent any misunderstandings with due dates/times, and will keep you on track with all of your assignments.
  3. Keep in contact with your friends! While it can be difficult to connect with friends virtually, having social connections/interactions is still important for your mental health and happiness. This is also important because you can always rely on a study group to help you with any concepts you do not understand and catch you up with any classes you may have missed.
  4. It is okay to miss class once in a while. Whether you like it or not, the consequences of the time difference are inevitable. As long as you email your teachers beforehand, they will most likely understand. Just try your best to complete assignments on time and show up to the zoom meetings if possible. 

Online learning is already difficult as it is, and even harder from a different country. While it is important to keep up with your academics, it is not worth sacrificing all of your sleep and mental health. All in all, just try your best, but never sacrifice your well-being for your grades.